NHL notes: Decision time on teen phenoms
|Maple Leafs forward David Steckel pokes at the stick of Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ont., Oct. 17, 2011. (DAVE ABEL/QMI Agency)
Hot teen prospect Mika Zibanejad is being sent home to Sweden after nine games with the Ottawa Senators.
While he is sad to be leaving, the Sens' No. 1 draft pick realizes it is for the better.
"It's going to be a chance for me to improve my game," said Zibanejad, who figures to get more ice time and the opportunity to work on the creative aspects of his game with Djurgarden of the Swedish Elite League.
The 18-year-old centre had no goals and one assist in nine games with Ottawa and was a minus-3.
"We think for the long-term development and to give him a chance to become what we believe he has a chance to become -- a quality NHL player -- this is the right step for him at this moment," Senators general manager Bryan Murray said.
If a prospect is returned to junior before playing in his 10th game it delays for one year the start of his entry-level contract.
Among the teen prospects who will be sticking with their NHL teams are Colorado forward Gabriel Landeskog and Tampa Bay forward Brett Connolly.
"(Landeskog) is going to be with us," Avalanche general Greg Sherman told NHL.com. "He's going to stay."
Lightning GM Steve Yzerman said of Connolly: "Brett (has) shown that he belongs in the NHL and makes our team better."
Others phenoms waiting for word include: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who has five goals in eight games for the Edmonton Oilers; forward Devante Smith-Pelly of the Anaheim Ducks; Minnesota Wild winger Brett Bulmer; defenceman Erik Gudbranson, who has impressed the Florida Panthers with his toughness; Philadelphia Flyers forward Sean Couturier; defenceman Adam Larsson, the fourth overall pick of the New Jersey Devils; and Columbus Blue Jackets centre Ryan Johansen.
DEVILS GRAB CARTER
The New Jersey Devils claimed forward Ryan Carter on waivers Wednesday from the Florida Panthers.
Carter, 28, has 14 goals and 21 assists in 189 career games with Anaheim, Carolina and Florida. But he had no points in seven games this season with Florida.
DRAFT HEADED TO PITTSBURGH?
The NHL is expected to announce Thursday that the 2012 entry draft will be held in June at Pittsburgh's Consol Energy Center.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman will attend a press conference there Thursday along with Penguins executives and Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.
The Columbus Blue Jackets have assigned defenceman David Savard to Springfield of the AHL. The 21-year-old had two assists and six penalty minutes in seven games with the Blue Jackets this season ... The Anaheim Ducks have sent forward Jean-Francois Jacques to Syracuse of the AHL ... The Carolina Hurricanes have assigned defenceman Justin Faulk to Charlotte of the AHL.